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The Big Weekend

It's fast approaching, with Remember Cliffside Day on Saturday, October 8. And our society Gathering is on the evening before, on Friday at 7:00 in the Fellowship Hall (beside the Baptist Church).

This year's Gathering program will pay tribute to photographer Roy Lee Harris, who for over 30 years captured the faces and places of Cliffside. The four children of Roy Lee and Charlotte Harris--Sherry, Bruce, James and Peggy--will talk about their late father's life with stories and photos from his archives.

As an added feature we'll unveil this special limited-edition 2017 wall calendar, a keepsake you can purchase only on that Friday night and Saturday.

It's 11"x8.5" in size, on heavy high gloss paper. Here are the front and back covers.


Photo of calendar covers

Inside are 13 Cliffside scenes photographed by Roy Lee (guaranteed to raise your nostalgia level by at least 83%), and 11 more photos of Roy and his family.

The calendar is only $10. Proceeds will help the society continue its preservation projects. And please come prepared--either on Friday Night or Saturday--to join or renew your society annual membership (only $20).


3,000 Attend Memorial

It was a sad weekend in mid-February, 1917, when they buried Mr. R. R. Haynes. It has taken years to unearth a news account of his funeral and here it is.


Unimportant Scribblings

Ina Fortune Haynes' writings were not scribblings, nor were they unimportant; she just liked to call them that. They were the columns she wrote for the Courier in the years 1938-1941. We've unearthed and posted over 30 of them. We trust you'll enjoy her musings on topics both weighty and trivial in those innocent times.


House Lists

Who lived where in Cliffside? If you're interested in 1964, we've found an old county cross-reference directory that lists 667 individuals on the streets and roads in and around Cliffside.


Cliffside Sketches

Ed Atkinson Ed Atkinson The latest: stories of a true pioneer of Cliffside, James Edward Atkinson (1857-1954), the author's grandfather.


New Feature

Side Roads logo

Travel along any road or street and you'll something of interest. A patch of flowers, an abandoned building, there's likely to be a story behind it.


Important Concert

Davis & Young

In the 1920's, Helen Davis and Victor Young were nationally-known performers. Thomas Edison hired them to go on tour to demonstrate his new phonograph. They appeared in some of the largest venues in the country—and in Cliffside!


Town Map

Find the house where you lived and the streets where you walked and played, on this map drawn in 1942.



Why this web site?

Store Building

In the southeastern corner of Rutherford County, North Carolina, along the Second Broad River, is the village of Cliffside. Or more accurately, what's left of the village of Cliffside. This site is dedicated to preserving the memories and lore of the little mill town we once knew.


Nickel & Dimed

In the '60s Cliffside residents underwent two different rent increases. The first was 10¢ a room, then four years later, 40¢. There were other increases, too, on car sheds and other conveniences. The old homes were wearing out at a rapid pace, and the increases were inevitable.


In the News

From The Rutherford County Sun, dozens of articles and columns from the late 1920s, describing events both tragic and humorous; changes to the town; advertising by Cliffside stores and businesses; and community, school and church news.




What year did your grandpa graduate from Cliffside High? (Don't know? We looked it up. It was 1948.) In the 80's, someone researched and compiled a list of graduates of every year there was a Cliffside High School (and the first two years of Chase High). We've created a digital version for your reference.


Man for All Seasons

Raleigh Biggerstaff, whose biography someone should write, was one of Cliffside's most talented people. Here's a sketch he made for the cover of a reunion program in 1988.


Poems of Cliffside

Listen, I’ve got to tell you—
Cannot keep it longer or be still—
Walked down the street one day last week
And got a job in the Cliffside Mill.”

That's just a taste of the poetic offerings you'll find in this section.


Visit The Archives

The snippets on this page appear for only a few months and then, alas, in order to make room for new features, they vanish into thin air.

Or do they?

Actually they don't vanish at all, but take up residence on one of our archives pages. Browse through them occasionally. You may find an item you missed when it was first published.

Note: None of the pages on this site is ever archived, all remain wherever they were first stored, in History, Memories, etc. Only these front-page teasers are moved to the archive section.


Writings of Charles Robinson

He grew up on the family farm out on Highway 120, graduating from Cliffside High in 1945. He attended UNC in Chapel Hill for a couple of years. He spent most of his working years in Greensboro, selling insurance for the Pilot Life company. In all that time, he wrote stories, poems and memories for his own satisfaction. We've published some of them here.



It's been a few months since ol' 110 was hauled from Stone Mountain, Ga. to its new home in Chatham County. Since then it's been repainted and dedicated. Read about it, and view our slide show of its big move.


Tri-Community Little League

If you played on a Tri-Community Little League team from its first year in 1957 to the present, you might find your team's photo here. There are 84 team photos (over 1200 players). And you'll learn how the Tri-Community franchise came about. Few of the players and coaches are identified. If you can identify any, contact us.



Did you ever wonder how it all started? In our Documents section we've added the Articles of Incorporation for Cliffside Mills, dated February 4, 1901. It's the agreement between R. R. Haynes and his other partners to start a business that would prosper for over 100 years.

Remember those old two, three and four digit phone numbers? Find the number of everyone in town in the Rutherford County Phone Directory for 1944.

Browse through these and many other old Cliffside papers. This is history, folks.


Did you know?

Yes, it's Ed Scruggs.

But did you know this about him? (Go to the Odds & Ends page and click the "Did You Know" tab.)


An Ordinary Afternoon 1947, and then tragedy struck, at this spot in downtown Cliffside.


Bricks and Memories

In her last article for the website before she passed away, JoAnn Huskey writes of an old house that stayed close and forever in her memories.


Nature Winning Again

A recent photo by Sam Davis, showing how, in time, an unattended landscape returns to its natural state.


A big reunion?

There's talk of a possible reunion for everyone who ever attended Cliffside High School (and the 1960 Chase graduates from Cliffside). Did you go to Cliffside High? Please read this and reply to the organizers.


Cemetery Needs

The Cliffside Cemetery Project is the organization responsible for maintaining our town's beloved old landmark. It relies on annual ($35) or lifetime ($400) fees per plot paid by survivors of the departed.

In many cases the graves are so old there are no survivors, or those who can no longer be reached. In other instances, survivors simply do not pay the fees. In short, fee collections do not cover the expenses.

If you're a responsible survivor would you please resolve any unpaid fee?

Even if you have no familial ties to the cemetery, would you make a tax-deductible donation to help defray the cost of landscaping and other expenses, and do your part in preserving the pride and beauty of Cliffside?

Please make checks payable to "Cliffside Cemetery Project, Inc., P.O. Box 209, Cliffside, NC 28024." Please indicate the plot, if any, the fee or donation should be applied to.

Many thanks.

Not a Woman Among 'em

In February 1967, a group of about 40 prominent men of Cliffside participated in a mock ceremony in which a man pretended to marry a person of the same gender, who was dressed in female attire. Laughs were had by all. There was a photo in the Courier.


The Lakeview Dairy

For a number of years Lakeview was called "one of the best, most modern and sanitary dairys in the state." And no wonder, the milk was "strained through eight different cloths." Seriously, it was an important part of early Cliffside and deserved, from time to time, a newspaper profile like this one.


As far as we know, Cliffside High did not publish a yearbook for the class of 1925, but they did issue elegant diplomas. The full name of the senior was embossed in gold on the rawhide cover of his document. We've come across the one belonging to Addie Festus Dobbins, one of the eleven graduates in '25.


Andy Love

So many have lived and worked in Cliffside, then died or moved away, and are in time forgotten. One on-going effort of this site is to rekindle the memories of as many as we can. Here's a profile of one who left Cliffside during the early 1940s, but who some still remember : Robert Andrew (Andy) Love, Jr.


A Cliffside Connection...

Don Bailey, of the Etowah Baileys, has climbed way up the family tree of Dr. Mills, our town druggist of yore, and linked his 4th great-grandfather to the Battle of Kings Mountain. Col. Ambrose Mills, a notorious Loyalist militiaman, fought in many battles for the British. At Kings Mountain he and several others were captured and marched back to Rutherfordton, where some, including Mills, were hanged for their activities for the "wrong side."


Herman & Lillie

The Joneses, even after retirement, kept on keeping on. Going on annual missionary trips to far away lands, or doing good works at home, this former EMT team amazed us all with their selflessness. Lillie died this past June. In her memory, here's an account of their happier days.


1920 Time Line

We've 'harvested' a lot of information from newspapers of 1920 and created a time line of sorts, along with a peek behind the scenes at how we get all this stuff. It might have been fun to live back then, even with bad roads, silent movies, ice boxes, etc. That was the year the Yankees bought Babe Ruth from the Red Sox, but baseball wasn't yet the national pastime. It would be years before games could be heard on radio.


First-Rate Fotos

Since we no longer post Photos of the Month, we've added a new ever-expanding gallery. Nostalgic photos of this and that, taken in the old days of Cliffside.


WWII People

We have a new section in our History/WWII files called "People." The first article in this section, contributed by Carl Sparks, Jr., is a birthday tribute to his father, who would have been 91 this March 24th. Carl, Sr. was a paratrooper in WWII and fought in the battles of Leyte and Luzon in the Philippines.

Send us your "people" stories.


The Winner!

Claude Scruggs, shown here with his wife Aquilla, won the 'marathon,' a foot race from the Junction to downtown Cliffside (about 3.5 miles). The racers ran alongside the railroad tracks —as a train filled with spectators moved alongside them, giving new meaning to the word "grandstand."

Oh, did we mention, the race was held in 1910, about 45 years before this photo was taken.


He Stayed, Then He Left

Unless you study or teach there (or have forgotten), you might not be aware that Phillip White retired as principal of Cliffside School — well, actually about 8 years ago! Yes, after 36 terms, he hung up that famous intimidating leather strap he inherited from Mr. Beatty back in 1967.


They Remembered When

On Cliffside School's 75th anniversary (in 1997), five of those who were present at the 1922 dedication recall their years as students in the magnificent new building.


A Circle of Life

A Texas girl named Martha Franklin taught for two years in the late 1940s at Harris High School. Read how her son and Phillip White, from old photos, tracked down old friends who never forgot her.


'59 Senior Trip

The last trip to Washington for a Cliffside High class. See the photo close up.


Duke News

Plant being imploded
The old Cliffside steam plant was imploded on Oct. 6, and the event was recorded for posterity. Click the image

And Duke Energy did a story and video interview for their website about ours. Click the image.

Joe Miller Remembers

He came to Cliffside in the early '60s and eventually became general manager of the mills. After he retired and moved away, he wrote this memoir. You'll relate to the places and names mentioned in this chronicle of yesteryear. There's some history here.


When W.D. Floyd drove around the county in 1999, taking pictures of landmarks, he shot a number of old houses that appeared to be near the end of their useful lives. We wonder if, 16 years later, they still exist.



On Dec. 22, 1922, almost five years after his death, the real estate owned by the late R.R. Haynes was divided up among his heirs. Mr. Haynes had accumulated 3,270 acres in Rutherford and Cleveland Counties. The heirs (his children) had the option to sell all the land and divide up the proceeds. They chose instead to accept the acreage deeded to each. See who got what.


Do you know this man?

robably not, unless you're one of his descendents who keeps up with your family tree. He died in 1928, but not before he wrote a valuable book on his life and times along Broad River and the surrounding area.
     In The Story of My Reminiscences, Richard (Dick) Meredy Jolly (b. 1842) tells of his ancestors and descendents; his experiences as a Confederate soldier in the Civil War; and his careers as a farmer, ferryman, tax-collector, deputy sheriff, Klansman and politician.
     Descendent or not, you'll find the man and his writing fascinating. And your name doesn't have to be Jolly/Jolley to be a descendent. It could be Humphries, Greene, Pagett, McCraw, Bridges or one of a dozen other surnames common to Rutherford, Cleveland and Cherokee counties.


Big Weekend - 2014

Are these guffaws from surprise or pleasure? At Remember Cliffside Day they could be either or both. Read about the Day and the Gathering, and see all the photos.


Where were you in '52?

Away in college? In Korea? Lived elsewhere? Fill your knowledge gap of Cliffside's 1952 happenings with Don Bailey's fast-paced highlights. You'll read of exciting fund drive totals, election results, retirements ... there's some other stuff, too..


Aunt Ottie

She's older than most people get, yet she's as lively as a lot of us youngsters. In her Family Story, Ottie Houser Roberson, the sister of Ealon, Yates, Lee and Maurice Houser, reveals a little-known detail about the Houser family: their original name!



For some of us, Charles H. Haynes (“Mr. Charley”) was a palpable presence during much of our lives. He assumed leadership of the Company upon his father's death in 1917, and for four decades, even after his retirement, exerted considerable influence on the town's administration and well-being. Here are accounts of several milestones in Mr. Charley's later life.


Down On The River

One fine day about 30 years ago, Roy Lee Harris took his four kids down to the Cliffside Mills dam site and, naturally, took his camera along. Here are a few of the photos he took that day. His daughter Sherry, shown at left, sent them to us.


More “Growing Up” Stories

You've enjoyed her Cliffside Sketches. Now, there's a new collection of JoAnn Huskey's stories —of Forest City in the '40's. She has fond memories of the people and places (and pets) of her childhood.



From these 51 faces, can you find someone you know?


Book cover

This new Cliffside book is a sequel to the earlier "Faces & Places of Old Cliffside" with 246 pages of articles, essays, news stories, memoirs, anecdotes and 184 images, some never published. Like the other book, it's $24.95. Buy the pair of them for only $37.00 total, a savings of $12.90! Call 704 443-5214 to order.

“My Story” by Grover Haynes, Jr.

From his infancy to his Naval service in World II and Korea, Grover hits the highlights of his young years in Florida, at Chestnut Hill, on Hazelhurst Farm and in Cliffside.


“I am so happy to review the Cliffside memories. My teachers also included Miss Dickerson; Mr Huff [Huss], math teacher; Mr. Beatty, principal. I listened to the presidents speech on the radio in class the day after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor...”

— Ruby Ward Cervino